|He'brew Jewbelation 11
Shamltz Brewing Company
San Francisco, California
Style: Specialty Ale
Aroma: Hugely complex aromatics. Bittersweet chocolate malt character, like chocolate chip cookies with big dark-chocolate chunks. This is balanced by intense molasses aromas with hints of tobacco and strong black licorice (the good German kind). Alcohol is apparent. On top of this throw in some spice, gingerbread, raisins, and a hint of soy sauce. Only flaw was a slight cardboard oxidation.
Appearance: Black as it gets. Big creamy tan head that dissipates quickly but remains as mist on the surface. This beer has legs.
Flavor: Burnt sugar and molasses dominate with some soy sauce and a dry cookie-like chocolate. Alcohol is noticeable but not hot. Nice spice cake background of anise, cinnamon, ginger, figs, and raisings. Medium-high bitterness and resinous piney hop flavor balance the molasses sweetness. Detected some papery oxidation. Well attenuated and drinkable for 11% ABV with a dry finish that lingers forever on burnt sugar, chocolate cookies, and spices.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied but well attenuated and easy drinking. Medium carbonation. Alcohol that warms all the way down without being hot.
Overall Impression: This is not a subtle beer. It knocks you over the head with flavor, but in a good way. The intensity is matched by complexity. The alcohol is perhaps a bit too strong, covering up some of the other rich flavors. I’m craving a chocolate lava cake to go with this one.